Monthly Archives: August 2012

Portland Area League (Team Chess)

High School and Middle School players in the Portland metropolitan area should check out the Portland Area League tournament, which runs from November to February with matches played at 4 PM on Wednesdays when Lincoln High School is open.  In 2011-2012, the League had 24 teams and played 13 rounds.   The league has been operating for over 20 years in a “team chess” format, which is different than playing in a regular chess tournament, because it takes a team effort to win the match.  Each match consists of five boards with your team’s best player on board #1, your second best on board #2, and so.  The winner of the match is the team that scores three or more points.

Teams are typically composed of players in grades 6 to 12 from the same school or one of its feeder schools.  (For example, a student in the 6th grade at West Sylvan Middle school can play on the Lincoln High School team.)  A school can have more than one team, or bring reserve players to each match so they can be paired against reserves from other teams.   Even if your school doesn’t have a team, you can still join and either play on an existing team (if you live in their attendance area), or you will be placed with a team depending on where you live and the needs of teams in the league.

Individual registration ends September 30, while team Registration ends October 15, 2012.

To register or to get more information contact Ed Addis at (503) 658-7809 or by e-mail at

Oregon Scholastic Chess on OPB!

(c) 2012 by Hanna Ornes for OSCF

Those of you who attended the 2012 OSCF State Tournament in Seaside may recall the two U of O students who were video taping, photographing, and interviewing our chess players during the weekend.  Bonnie Harris, one of those students, reports that the final result of their work, the documentary “The Gymnasium of the Mind,” has been selected for broadcast as a part of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Lens broadcast.  Tune in to your local OPB station at 10:00pm on Wednesday, August 22, to see it, and set those recorders so you can watch it again!

U.S. Open Final Results

The U.S. Open came to a spectacular close on Sunday evening, August 12, in Vancouver. Congratulations to all of our Oregon Scholastic players, who netted plenty of additional USCF rating points to bring back to our dual-rated scholastic events!

Results of particular note include a fantastic 6.5 points from incoming Junior Yogi Saputra, who won a clear first place in the U2000 rating class, bringing his rating well above 2000 — at the top of our Oregon scholastic players going into the calculation of our pre-All-Stars lists, and an increase of over 450 points since he received his established USCF rating in January of this year.

Despite playing an intense six rounds in the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions from Saturday-Tuesday, Coquille’s Aaron Grabinsky also had a great tournament, tying for second with 5.5 points in the U1800 class while Valentin Molchanov (4.5 points, U1400 class), Jonathan Yau (3.5 points, U1200 class), and John Ornes (3.5 points, U1200 class) all tied for third in their rating classes and will enjoy significant rating increases.  There are many other results to be proud of in this particularly difficult tournament — all our Oregon competitors should be thrilled with their participation and results!

Oregon Scholastic Chess at the US Open

Standings after Round 7Twenty-four scholastic chess players from Oregon are playing in the 113th U.S. Open, taking place in Vancouver, WA, this week. After the seventh round, which took place Thursday evening, our players are all doing well — and some spectacularly well — at this extremely high-level tournament. Detailed standings can be found at the link above; good luck to our players in the remaining two rounds!

Congratulations as well to Takuma Sato-Duncan, Dillon Murray, Gabe Skoro, and Nathan Jewell, all of whom won class prizes during the Blitz Tournament on Saturday afternoon.

Hot Chess in Vancouver (Updated)

On August 4th — the hottest day in three years — many of Oregon’s most dedicated chess players gathered in Vancouver, WA, to begin play at the 113th Annual U.S. Open chess tournament.Site of the US Open 2012 The vitality of the Northwest’s chess community was demonstrated by the U.S. Open Scholastic Tournament, which had 104 players registered — the same number as in Irvine, CA in 2010, but many more than in Orlando (33 players in 2011) and Indianapolis (35 players in 2009).  Some notable results for Oregon scholastic players in that event:

Congratulations to Seth Talyansky, who swept the field with 4.5/5 in the Elementary Championship Section, as well as to Andrea Botez and Marshal Xu, who ended with 3.5 in this highly competitive section.  In the HS/JHS Championship Section, no player was perfect, but on a day when 4.0/5 meant first place, the plus and even scores of Philip Weiss (3.0) and Grant Yu and Ethan Allison (2.5) were a good result.

In the HS/JHS U1200 section (that’s USCF U1200, not NWSRS), Jonathan Yau took a clear first place in light of his perfect 5.0 score.  Preston Fenimore (4.0) and Josiah Perkins and Benjamin Kleier (3.5) were close behind.  In the Elementary U1000 section, the best-placed Oregon players were Corbin Frias, who tied for first with a perfect 5.0, Gavin Zhang and Andre Klingler with 4.0, and Keshav Siddhartha and Aidan Garnder-O’Kearney with 3.5 points.

Some of our Oregon scholastic players chose to instead compete against the adults in the Weekend Swiss. Congratulations to Yogi Saputra and Takuma Sato-Duncan, who both had an excellent score of 4.0/5 and were just a half-point off the first place finishers.  Finally, we shouldn’t forget Oregon’s representatives at the Denker Tournament of HS Champions (Alexandra Botez) and the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions (Aaron Grabinsky) who continue their competition through Tuesday afternoon.  Best of luck to both of them.

Well done to all the players, to the organizers, and to scholastic chess in the NW!